x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Why spoil a great view?

A Dubai resident questions the need for a beachfront shopping mall. Other letter topics: runaway maids, banks and road safety.

A reader says construction has obscured views of the sea near Jumeirah Beach Residence. Pawan Singh / The National
A reader says construction has obscured views of the sea near Jumeirah Beach Residence. Pawan Singh / The National

Regarding Spectacular revamp for major Dubai attraction (August 24), for the past two years I have lived at Dubai Marina, in a beautiful complex between Marina Walk and Jumeirah Beach Residence.

We chose our 12th floor apartment for its view of the beach and the sea. Where I used to be able to see the beach between the JBR towers, I now see a car park and a construction site.

What little is left of the beach is now invisible. The developer has said that no one's view would be compromised, but compromised it is, even though no building has yet been begun.

The charm of the Beach Walk was its openness - you could look out over the beach as you walked along, or as you ate your breakfast. Now that it's walled in by construction barriers, it's just another urban street.

When a row of retail buildings replaces the construction barriers, it will only be worse.

Why build more retail space here? Dubai Marina Mall is just across the bridge and has plenty of high quality shopping, and the plaza level at JBR has dozens of empty shops. Many have closed for lack of business. The Marina Walk also has a lot of empty shops.

The centrepiece of the neighbourhood used to be the beach. The accessibility of the beach was what made the area unique. What a shame to cover it all up.

Elizabeth Martin, Dubai


Maids deserve a better deal

I am writing about We will get you home, runaway Filipinas told (August 21). I think a minimum wage of Dh2,000 per month should be mandated, regardless of the maid's nationality.

Food, lodging, medical insurance and a minimum of one day off a week should be provided, and they should get an annual pay rise. If the employer can't afford that, I suggest they clean up after themselves. Monica Carver, Dubai

Remembering a great astronaut

Your editorial Exploration of space is a basic human drive (August 28) was interesting.

The death at 82 of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong was a great loss to the world in the field of space exploration.

He was the first man to land on the Moon, and that created a revolution five decades ago. I salute the departed astronaut; the world will remember him forever.

K Ragavan, India

UN should take up Kurds' cause

I write in reference to Murat Somer's analysis, Regional role forces Turkey to revisit Kurdish issues at home (August 27).

Why has the United Nations never taken up the issue of Turkey's oppression of the Kurds?

Harold Taback, Dubai

Another unhappy bank customer

Thank you for the article Banks under fire over rates for home loans (August 26).

I recently asked my bank if it would consider reducing my mortgage rate, which is currently set at 7.75 per cent.

The bank offered to give me a rate of 4.99 per cent for two years, after which it would return to the retail base rates (RBR) plus 2.50 percentage points.

For this adjustment, I would have to pay 1 per cent of my remaining balance as a service fee. RBR right now is 5 per cent.

The letter was like a slap in the face, but I suppose it's nice to know that I am not alone in this.

K Turner, Abu Dhabi

Road safety rules are driven home

The recent increase in the number of road accidents in Oman has become very disturbing.

On Monday, a horrific accident in Salalah claimed the lives of seven (Emirati father and his six children killed in Oman car crash, August 28). A week before, during the Eid holidays, nine people were killed in a head-on collision on the Salalah-Muscat highway.

Authorities in Oman have been trying to make people aware of the importance of following traffic safety norms for the sake of everyone on the road, and have initiated several awareness campaigns in the recent past.

In spite of this, the spate of road incidents is very worrying.

The Royal Oman Police alerts people through text messages such as: "If you feel tired or sleepy, do not risk your and others' lives. Stop the vehicle away from the road and take a rest."

Another message reads: "Slow down and do not rush while driving, remember your family is waiting for you."

People behind the wheel must drive safely and comply with all road safety guidelines, especially when it comes to wearing a seat belt, keeping the correct distance from other vehicles and following the speed limit. Ramachandran Nair, Oman